Covid-19 Update 3/13/20

The administration of Urshan College and Urshan Graduate School of Theology recognizes the importance of being attentive to the concerns regarding the COVID-19 and has been in discussion regarding the need for appropriate caution and to be attentive to the health and safety of our faculty, staff, and students. We understand students may be anxious and have questions regarding the next steps after spring break as they make plans to return to the Urshan campus. Our desire is to keep everyone informed on precautions and contingency plans. Additionally, we encourage everyone to stay informed with the most accurate information available. News agencies and health organizations recommend the CDC website having the most accurate information. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html)

There have been no confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) involving Urshan students or employees, but we are taking a proactive approach as the situation continues to develop. In order to maintain the health and safety of all members of our community, the Urshan administration has been in lengthy discussions throughout the week.

Current plans:

At this time Urshan (UC and UGST) plans to extend the spring break by one week in order for administration to continue to assess the current trends of the COVID-19 virus, and consider needs, and safety of our community due to the many who have traveled across the country and internationally during the break. School will resume on Monday, March 23, 2020. We will continue to monitor the situation and create a link on our website to share updates as needed. Please share the school websites with parents and family members who may have questions and concerns.

We recognize that there are a few students already in the area who cannot return home due to hardship or other challenges. Similarly, there may be some already in route to the campus at the time of this notification. Our goal is not to place unnecessary hardships on anyone, but to be of assistance where needed. If you can reschedule travel, we strongly advise that you do so. If you must return to the campus, please make sure that our Housing Director, Sis. Carson and your RA are aware of your intended presence in the dorms. Our Dean of Student Services will use the list that is compiled from these notifications to ensure that information is properly shared with each student about the protocols in place for social distancing and other preventive measures in the dorms. 

Campus business offices will remain open through the extended spring break with precautions of social distancing. Staff assigned to campus should expect to work. Those with health risks, should see their supervisors to discuss working remotely.

Food service will be made available during the extended break and more information will follow from the Dean of Student Services. Regular food service will resume, as scheduled, on March 23.

FACULTY & STAFF: Faculty and staff will follow regular schedules. Faculty will return to campus on Monday, March 23. Faculty will receive details about their return.

FUTURE TRIPS: The situation is being monitored and will continue to be evaluated as the situation evolves.

CAMPUS: Extra cleaning measures have been put in place

Steps for prevention:

As we have mentioned, we are not aware of anyone in the Urshan community who has contracted COVID-19 or been in contact with someone who has tested positive. However, given the global spread of this virus, we recognize that it is possible that one or more of our members might eventually be exposed. If this occurs, we are prepared to implement additional social distancing precautions including offering classes in an online format. We will keep you informed about our plans moving forward and we thank you for your patience and grace as we navigate a rapidly changing and uncertain situation.

Symptoms and what to do if you are sick:
According to the CDC, the initial symptoms of the virus are fever, cough, and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. If you begin experiencing a combination of these symptoms or believe that you might have been exposed to the virus over the past few weeks and are in St. Louis area, please contact the SSM Health Command Central Incident Hotline at (314) 989-2565 to speak with an expert on the virus and avoid going to class or interacting with others.

DO NOT go to the Emergency Room or Urgent care. The crisis hotline will walk you through a series of questions and then make a recommendation for you to travel to a specific location for testing. Should you go to the Emergency Room or Urgent Care at a local hospital without notifying them in advance, you run the risk of potentially exposing others to the virus.

Here is a link to the CDC’s specific recommendations for “what to do if you are sick”: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/steps-when-sick.html